One of the first churches to call Grayson County home celebrated a milestone anniversary last week. First Baptist Church in Sherman turned 150 years old and the church pastor Mike Lawson celebrated 20 years with the congregation during a ceremony on Nov. 17 at the church.
In 2014, the church began an initiative called “Preserving the Legacy” which included an extensive remodel of the Family Life Center at the church. Currently, the church is under a large-scale construction phase and expects to have its new Legacy Children’s center complete by the beginning of the new year.
“There are few churches that have the opportunity to celebrate 150 years of existence,” said Lawson in an email interview. “This is such a significant milestone for any organization. When a church is able to continue for 150 years, it becomes a noteworthy occasion. And it is right and good for us to take the time to say thank you to God for sustaining this body for these many years.”
In the church’s history, not only have the congregation’s leaders serve this community, several pastors have gone on to lead the Southern Baptist Convention. Those individuals include Darold Morgan and Fred Brown.
“The church has been a light in the Sherman community for so many,” Lawson said. “It has actually sponsored several other churches in Sherman. The church has impacted lives by having invited guests, and events such as Upward Basketball, Team Impact, Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames, as well as many revivals and conferences throughout the years.”
As the current pastor, both anniversaries have left Lawson feeling overwhelmed with gratitude.
“It is such an honor to be the pastor of this fine church at this significant juncture in its history,” he said. “There is such joy and appreciation for God’s blessing on this body. I am deeply honored to serve Him here during this special anniversary celebration.”
With the hope of continuing to make a mark on the community and the world, 14 percent of FBC’s un-designated receipts go to worldwide missions through its denominational channels.
“We are also involved in a community in the mountains outside of Lima Peru,” Lawson said. “We have supported a brand new church from its inception in Indianapolis, Indiana. There are several individuals and families who have gone out from this church as missionaries to the far regions of the earth.”
One of Lawson’s most memorable events at the church is currently unfolding.
“It has to do with the church’s decision to construct the new children’s building,” he said. “Our intention is to prepare for generations that are coming just as generations preceding us prepared structures for us that we utilize and enjoy. The challenge is to complete this building and to do so without incurring any debt. We are committed to seeing this happen.
Jack Noble has been a member of FBC for more than 50 years. He was ordained as a deacon in 1962. He is also a Sunday school teacher, a trustee, youth coordinator and on the deacon leadership team among other duties at the church.
“Probably, the founding of five mission churches has been our greatest contribution to the city,” he said in an email interview. “North Park, East Sherman, Forest Avenue, Crutchfield Heights, and Fairview, possibly, also West Sherman, all have a connection to FBC. My hope is that the newly created Children’s Center will serve thousands of new converts who will serve our Lord with diligence and obedience.”
The church intends to continue to grow and reach more young families in the future.
“We want to believe our message is important for the lives of families and individuals, and will have positive impact for those who truly build their life upon it,” Lawson said. “I would hope that we remain a gospel centered church, that exists to help people know and understand the difference that Christ can make in their lives. There is nothing that excites me more than people trusting Christ and confessing that faith through believer’s baptism.”